Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley didn't seem discouraged about the road ahead Tuesday after losing the New Hampshire primary to former President Donald Trump.
The former United Nations ambassador spoke to supporters soon after Trump was announced the projected winner and congratulated him, saying, "He earned it." But she didn't mince words when declaring she would not be conceding the race to the man, for whom she twice voted for the role, just yet.
"New Hampshire is first in the nation; it is not the last in the nation. This race is far from over," Haley said.
Trump was considered the heavy favorite over Nikki Haley ahead of the Tuesday primary, particularly after he clinched the Iowa caucus lead last week. Although Haley did pull more moderate-leaning voters to her side of the camp, which was expected, it still wasn't enough to take the lead, with Trump saying in his speech later that evening that Haley had a "very bad night."
However, Haley pointed to her continuous rise in the polls in saying her fight wasn't over, noting there were once 14 candidates compared to the two now left standing, thanks to the surprise departure of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
"I'm a fighter, and I'm scrappy," Haley said, noting she started the race polling at 2%. "Today, we got close to half of the vote. We still have a ways to go, but we keep moving up."
Haley's tactics to pull more of the vote have been partly focused on Trump's previous losses for the party, including the White House, the Senate and the House.
She said Tuesday that Democrats know they can beat Trump but that she can defeat the incumbent "handily" if given the nomination.
"With Donald Trump, you have one bout of chaos after another. This court case, that controversy, this tweet, that senior moment. You can’t fix Joe Biden’s chaos with Republican chaos," Haley said. "The first party to retire its 80-year-old candidate is going to win this election. I say it should be the Republicans."
At the time of reporting Tuesday, Decision Desk HQ projected Trump will win at least 11 of the 22 delegates up for grabs, while Haley will win at least eight. There are three left to divvy.
It will take 1,215 of the 2,429 overall delegates to clinch the GOP's nomination in the end.
And Haley says that's possible for her, particularly when it comes to the next presidential primary taking place in her home state of South Carolina. However, Trump is currently ahead of her by more than 30 points in some polls.
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